Source: KARK KARK is mourning the loss of the station's first-ever weatherman.
Longfellow, 89, was a true broadcaster from the industry's early years,
cutting his teeth in radio (KHOZ-AM in Harrison and KARK-AM) before
sinking them into the new medium of television at a time when KARK was
The year was 1954 when Longfellow first
stepped in front of the cameras to give the forecast. His work had begun
hours before in a time when computers weren't around to make it much
"I'm not a meteorologist," Longfellow
said in 2004 in a special KARK 50th Anniversary Special. "I used to
drive to the U.S. Weather Bureau at the airport before each weather show
and get briefed by the government meteorologist, and then I'd take some
notes and put it in my head and then I'd race back to the studio....and
I would put it in my own words." Longfellow continued, "The first
weather board I ever had was a blackboard, a green blackboard and I'd
draw the weather maps with the highs and lows and everything with a
piece of chalk and that was it. Later it got real refined. One time we
had a plexiglass weather board. I had to stand behind it and draw
everything backwards and that was a real problem. I didn't do to well on
As part of his on-air duties, Longfellow also did live commercials in the days before they were videotaped.
also did a one-hour daily cooking show with a local home economist
called "What's Cooking," which showed the preparation of a meal from
start to finish. The money shot for the show would be the presentation
of the completed meal. In 2004, Longfellow recalled his most
embarrassing live television moment when, at the end of one of the
cooking shows, he dropped a platter containing a steak covered with
potatoes and onions that went "splat all over the set and the studio."
When he left work as an on-air personality, Longfellow stayed with KARK for decades more as a salesman.
In 2005, Longfellow received the Arkansas Advertising Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
went on to help create the Arkansas Radio Network and worked for
Citadel Broadcasting at the end of his career. He was a top salesman for
its stations in the market.
In 2004, Longfellow said, "I have very fond memories. I'm glad I'm still a part of it 50 years later."
There's no word yet on funeral arrangements for Longfellow.